I have worked with some great worship leaders and pastors. Jason with Building 429 was once our worship pastor. He is phenomenal at helping people engage in corporate worship. How could I not mention the golden voice of Daniel Doss? I should mention the most recent worship pastor I worked with, Bo Warren, is one of the most gifted people I've ever known.
I'm not intending this post, however, to be a shoutout to any of them specifically. I've been blessed with many great worship leaders and pastors with whom to work.
I've worked with enough now to form some opinions of what makes a great one.
7 Attributes of a Great Worship Leader
Humble: They love Jesus and attempt to walk with Him daily. They are willing to let others help lead, because it's not about them—it's about Jesus. And they don't have to always be center stage.
Strategic: They think through the planning of a service from start to finish. They are conscious of the need to remove distractions and give people the best opportunity to potentially engage in worship.
Cooperative: I once worked with a worship leader who could not handle a change. I believe in planning. I also believe the Spirit of God can work in our planning process. But it's very difficult to allow God's Spirit to reign when we are the ones in control of the service. The bond between the teaching pastor and the worship pastor is so important. In fact, the ability to form chemistry with them may be my most important quality when seeking a worship leader.
Faithful: In this one, I really mean a willingness to walk by faith—even when it's uncomfortable. A good worship pastor can lead people to respond, but it is one position in the church where there are multiple opinions of their "performance." The worship pastor is subject to receiving criticism as much or more than the pastor. It can be a challenging position for anyone who thrives on popularity. A great worship leader focuses more on the call of God in their work than in the comfort of the position or the response of the people.
Servant: They are here to serve the church, its volunteers and ultimately Christ. There's no "green room" mentality. I love, for example, to see a worship leader who engages with people after the service. They realize people see them "on stage," but they want people to simply remember them for being a regular person—humbly striving to be like Jesus.
Encouraging: They invest in volunteers, making them feel valued. People are drawn to them because they know they are loved and appreciated.
Innovative: The best worship leaders I know don't get caught in a rut. They are not afraid to try new songs or new orders of service. Every week is not the same. They are consistently raising their own bar, challenging others, changing things and seeking to improve.
Notice, I never mentioned talent.
And, granted, they should have the talent to fit the job requirements, but just as a pastor doesn't have to be the next Andy Stanley to be successful, neither does the worship pastor have to be the next Chris Tomlin. (Or choose the names that work best for you in my analogy.) Talent matters, but that someone goes without saying, and—if I had to choose—I'd rather have slightly less talent to get slightly better character.
What are attributes you believe make a great worship leader?
Ron Edmondson is the CEO of Leadership Network. Previously, he was a pastor, revitalizing two churches and planting two churches. He loves assisting pastors and those in ministry in thinking through leadership, strategy and life.
This article originally appeared at ronedmondson.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.
NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.
The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.